Two years after #MeToo, there is still a lot of work to do

Two years after #MeToo, there is still a lot of work to do

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Two years after the wave of #MeToo sexual denunciations that tarnished the image of the video game industry, there is still a long way to go to break the glass ceiling, says Jade Raymond , head of Haven Interactive Studios.

“We still have work to do, that's for sure, but we're making progress,” said in an interview with JournalJade Raymond, on the sidelines of the opening of Haven Interactive Studios, last Thursday, in Montreal, the 5th world center for games.

“ My new boss at Sony is a woman, who has accomplished amazing things in the industry. I'm really excited to have had a woman as my boss, who can also be my mentor,” she continued.

Wounds remain to be healed

In June 2020, the wave of denunciations of sexual violence #MeToo had fallen on the gaming industry and had splashed the French Ubisoft, well rooted in Quebec.

Then, the studio announced the departure of Yannis Mallat, the director of its Canadian studios. they apologized.

Two years later, the culture is changing, but the scars are taking time to heal. The industry is not yet free of inappropriate behavior, despite the heads that have rolled.

Importance of mentors

It is precisely to turn the tide that Jade Raymond wants to inspire young women as much as she can with mentoring projects.

« One of the reasons why I'm still putting myself forward, it's because I've had feedback from young women who are in university and who think they want to make a career in video games,” shares the senior executive.

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Beyond prejudice, beyond preconceived ideas and sexist classifications, Jade Raymond devotes her precious time to encouraging the new generation to follow in her footsteps to shatter the glass ceiling.

“&nbsp ;It gives them a little hope that it is possible to be a woman and to have an interesting job and a good career in games, she insists.

“  We have just announced an intern program ,” she concludes.

According to Montreal International (MI), a video game studio in our region has a cost advantage of 28% compared to the average of the 20 largest metropolitan areas in Canada and the United States. /p>

An ex-VP. of Google, which wants to chart its own course

Jade Raymond gave an interview to the Journal last Thursday, on the sidelines of the official opening, in Montreal, of its video game development studio, part of the large PlayStation Studios family.

His background

Jade Raymond, 47, was not born yesterday. After brilliant studies at Marianopolis College and McGill University in computer science, the Montrealer saw her career explode. Sony, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Google… its track record is enough to make many green with envy. Twice rather than once, Variety magazinenamed him one of its 500 Most Influential Leaders. Jade Raymond is notably behind the successful games Assassin's Creed (2007), Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008) and Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines (2009). It was to her that Google had entrusted the mandate to lead its gaming platform Stadia, which will cease at the beginning of the year.

His new studio

For the leader of Haven Interactive Studios, which officially opened its doors last Thursday in Montreal, there is room for everyone in the Quebec ecosystem. “Everyone has a part to play. We all play roles differently. I still consider us as an indie, but if we exceed 100 people ”, launches Jade Raymond. And in the midst of a global talent war, its Quebec developers are a real strike force in a studio that neighbors Sony Imageworks and Sony Music. “We still have control over our culture, the way we can make our games and our values. We really still keep our independence,” she says.

At the limit of cinema and virtual

“We are experiencing an explosion,” replies Jade Raymond with passion, when we discuss with her the increasingly thin border between cinema and virtual reality. According to her, the industry has started to experience a real transformation, which goes far beyond what we can imagine. “It’s not just in the quality of the graphics that you arrive with movie-quality visuals, but also with the explosion of artificial intelligence and machine learning. It will change what we are able to do in terms of interactive entertainment,” she shares. While Montreal is doing well in the field of artificial intelligence, the pool of talent here is becoming enticing. “We are making great investments in these new technologies,” she summarizes.

Violence in games

While voices are rising to condemn the omnipresent violence in certain video games, Jade Raymond reminds us that our desensitization towards it is found everywhere in the media. “We have gone to the extreme. I find that a little shocking, personally. It's not particularly in games,” she adds. For the former vice-president of Google, her industry plays its role when it comes to controlling it. “The games even have a ranking system that says what is for whom. We don't sell games to people who aren't supposed to play them,” she said. Moreover, for Jade Raymond, the question is broader. We must ask ourselves why we consume violence to find out the underlying reasons.

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